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Starting Point

News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.

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CNN

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02:00:00

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 27, Washington 14, Fbi 11, U.s. 11, Bruce 9, America 9, Russell 7, David Petraeus 7, Benghazi 7, Barbara Starr 6, Sandy 5, New York 5, Soledad 5, Jeff Gordon 5, Gloria Reuben 5, Paula Broadwell 5, Russell Simmons 5, Subaru 4, Cnn 4, Obama 4,
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  CNN    Starting Point    News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien  
   looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.  

    November 12, 2012
    4:00 - 6:00am PST  

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reuben, star of the new movie "lincoln." it's monday, november 12th. as "starting point" begins right now. good morning, welcome, everybody. our "starting point" this morning demand for answers in the david petraeus sex scandal. house and senate leaders want to know why they were never given the heads up on the investigation that led petraeus to resign as a cia director over an extramarital affair. with that resignation, petraeus might not have to testify this week at a congressional hearing on the benghazi consulate attack. cnn's barbara starr is following that story from the pentagon. good morning. >> good morning, soledad. well, look, at least at this point, there's no indication publicly of a national security breach. but that doesn't mean the questions aren't growing. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are questioning the timing behind the revelation. house majority leader eric
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cantor said an fbi employee told him in october about the petraeus affair. by that time an fbi investigation was already under way. the fbi told the director of national intelligence james clapper on election night, according to a senior u.s. intelligence official. the white house says it was notified the day after the election, and the president the following day. that doesn't make sense to house homeland security chairman peter king. >> this seems to have been going on for several months yet now it appears they're saying that the fbi didn't realize until election day that general petraeus was involved. it just doesn't add up. >> "the new york times" reports the fbi actually started its investigation late this summer. the house and senate intelligence committees were also caught by surprise. >> are you going to investigate why the fbi didn't notify you before? >> yes, absolutely.
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i mean, this is something that could have had an effect on national security. i think we should have been told. >> the fbi was investigating harassing e-mails from petraeus' biographer. the trail led to paula broadwell, who co-wrote "all in," a biography of petraeus. broadwell described her extraordinary access to the general earlier this year on cnn. >> at some point i think he realized i was taking this research very seriously. i was sharing hardship with the troops and risk and so forth and decided to open up a little bit more access. but we had a relationship before i went there, as far as this dissertation was concerned so it just took it to another level. >> reporter: the end result was a flattering biography, summed up this way when she appeared on the daily show to promote it. >> the real controversy is here is, is he awesome, or incredibly awesome? >> broadwell is a married mother of two. she's an honors graduate of west point, a retired army research major who served for 15 years.
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petraeus resigned friday, admitting to cheating on his wife of 38 years, holly. and citing, quote, extremely poor judgment. a u.s. official says petraeus was never the target of the investigation and his communications were never compromised. now as you said, soledad, petraeus was supposed to testify on capitol hill this week about those attacks against the u.s. consulate in benghazi. very controversial, what did he know and when did he know it about those attacks? now it will be his deputy, and there are some questions still, will congress issue a subpoena that would compel him to appear. >> that's very interesting. barbara starr, thank you. ahead this morning we're going to talk to retired general james "spider" marks. he knows both general petraeus and also paula broadwell. we'll ask him some questions about that relationship. 50 days till the fiscal cliff. 50 days. new signs this morning that we could be seeing a deal possibly
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soon. president obama wants to let the bush tax cuts expire for americans making more than $250,000. said he's not wedded to every debail of his plan. house speaker, john boehner, wants to keep all the bush tax cuts in place. he's starting to talk about closing up tax loopholes. conservative pundit and weekly standard editor bill kristol said it's time for republicans to come so some sort of compromise. >> conservative movement has to pull back, let people float new ideas, let's have a serious debate. don't scream and yell when one person says it won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires. it really won't, i don't think. i don't understand why republicans don't take obama's offer? >> cnn's senior congressional correspondent dana bash is live for us in washington, d.c. what do you make of his comments? >> soledad, look, bill kristol is not an elected official. he doesn't get a vote. but he is a very influential gop voice here in washington. and around the country. and for him to tell republicans it wouldn't kill to them to agree to tax increases for millionaires. it's a big deal. and we heard some similar talk
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from republicans who do have a vote like senator bob corker. listen to this. >> i think there is a deal, once the yin and yang, we know there has to be revenues. look, i haven't met a wealthy republican or democrat in tennessee that's not willing to contribute more as long as they know we solve the problem. >> and, soledad, now for the but. the but is that sounds conciliatory, and it is but the two sides are still not close on how to cut a deal on any tax increases. for the most part republicans are still opposed to raising tax rates for the wealthiest americans and democrats, led by the president, said this over and ovn the campaign, said it's exactly what they want to do. they want to return the highest tax rates, 35% to 39.6%. pre-bush era levels. listen to democratic senator chuck schumer. >> the only way mathematically i've seen to do it is go from that 39.6% rate. if someone can show snore plan
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that doesn't do that, we could look at it but no one's shown one because i think it's mat matically impossible. >> so where is the compromise? raising taxes for the wealthy in some other way closing a slew of loopholes, or as democrats like to say, perhaps redefining wealth so that tax rates are raised for those making half a million or a million dollars a year. soledad, this will be all the talk in the halls of the happen when congressmen return tomorrow and the president is going to have a very important meeting with congressional leaders on friday. >> at least they sound couns conciliatory on both sides. >> it's a nice change. >> doesn't sound like, forget it. everybody holding press conferences but not talking to each other. thanks. just ahead, going to be talking to groemp norquist. he'ses president of americans for tax reform. it is his pledge that elected officials often sign, saying no taxes. tax increases. we'll see what he has to say about this conciliatory tone. alina cho has some of the rest of the stories making news. >> something that seemingly came
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out of nowhere. an indianapolis neighborhood resembles a bar zone this morning after a weekend explosion that leveled homes and killed two people. authorities still don't know what caused the blast which rendered whole blocks uninhabitable. america will never forget the service of its military heroes. president obama delivering that message on veterans day at a wreath laying ceremony at arlington national cemetery. >> on this day we thank all of our veterans from all of our wars, not just for your service to this country, but for reminding us why america and always will be the greatest nation on earth. >> the president also noting this is the first veteran's day in a decade with no american troops serving in iraq. investigators want to know why a 64-year-old man walked into a detroit area police station and opened fire. he shot a 50-year-old sergeant
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in the shoulder yesterday before officers returned fire and killed him. that sounded sergeant is expected to make a full recovery. holland security chief janet napolitano gets a firsthand look at sandy's aftermath. she surveyed the devastation in staten island, yesterday. she also took stock of relief and recovery efforts there. sandy is blamed for 113 deaths across various states, 43 in new york alone. thousands are still without power. sunday night football action, bears and texans in chicago. a big night for houston's ariane foster. he rushed for 102 yards on 29 carries. and scored the game's only touchdown. texans defense was all over jay cutler. they nabbed two interceptions before knocking him out of the game with a concussion. final score houston 13, chicago, 6. >> you follow roland martin he was going crazy this weekend. good weekend for roland. another big headline is sports. l.a. lakers making surprising announcement for their head coach position. sources tell the "los angeles
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times" that former new york knicks head coach mike d'antoni is going to take over after the sudden firing of mike brown after just five games. tiki barber is the author of "tiki: my life in the game and beyond." nice to have you. let's start with that. everyone's talking phil jackson. i saw a little wire that said new coach and i was like oh, phil jackson. >> phil jackson retired for a reason a few years ago for the los angeles lakers. he's 70 years old. he's burnt out. he probably doesn't want to be on the bench any longer dealing with a lot of personalities that they have in los angeles, obviously kobe bryant. >> what? kobe bryant has a big ego? >> personality. >> sorry, that was my editorializing. >> exactly. i think mike d'antoni is the right coach for the los angeles lakers right now. he's looking to get back in to a high profile position. the lakers are going to give him that opportunity after being unceremoniously dismissed by the knicks last year. also, because of, let's call it high personality.
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i think it's a good place for him to restart and it will be good for the los angeles lakers because they need somebody who is going to come in and put in an offense that fits their players. i think that was mike brown's problem with the lakers. he had these guys running and gunning like princeton used to, but the average age is 32 years old. >> out in the blik of an eye. >> five games. that's fast. >> bad look of an eye. >> yeah, exactly. we saw a couple of those bad looks. because they moved those right out. let's talk about alabama losing. again as i said roland martin completely insane on twitter. he was so excited because texas a&m won. >> johnny manziel had a big day going out to a big lead against alabama. this makes it very interesting bcs. bowl championship series last couple of weeks. obviously alabama can't control their destiny any longer. the definding national champions. they have to win out and more importantly they have to beat
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georgia in the s.e.c. title game. there's three undefeateds now, notre dame, kansas state and oregon state. oregon state has a little bit of a challenge to get there. they have stanford and a couple other teams and play in the s.e.c. the easiest team to get there because they don't have a title game is kansas state. they've got a couple games to win out and they should be number one or number two in the country. again this all goes away in 2014 because they institute a playoff like every other division in college football. >> which clearly you wanted. >> i think everybody wanted. >> quick question, johnny manziel, he's trying to trade mark johnny football. >> how many johnnies are there? great quarterbacks or great running backs, that's not going to happen. it's smart. >> nice to see you, tiki. let's talk business news. alison kosik is in for christine romans with the latest your business news. >> minding your business this morning, u.s. stock futures are up indicating markets will open higher this morning.
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but of course there's a lot of volatility in the markets right now. mostly because of the fiscal cliff. the s&p 500, that's the best indicator for the stocks in your 401(k). it's fallen about 2.5% since election day. this week we're going to get several reports on the manufacturing sector. hopefully those will give us an update on how the economy is doing. maybe even draw ra tension away from the gridlock that we are seeing in washington over the fiscal cliff. okay. add one more to the list. toys "r" us othering early on thanksgiving night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. it's an hour earlier than last year. the retailer says it's focusing on electronics sales including its own tablet devices for kids. target and walmart are following suit, opening earlier on thanksgiving night this year, as well. black friday, soledad, oh, so yesterday. it's thursday now. >> what is that brown thursday? crazy. >> i would never do that. tiki i'm going to ask you about the giants this weekend. i'm gonna. got to move on.
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still ahead this morning on "starting point," with national security ever put at risk because of general petraeus' affair. a talk with retired general spider marks who's known general petraeus since high school. and jeff gordon did you see this brawl? completely out of control. you know, he is throwing punches. which i have to say he's kind of a mellow guy. >> not exciting enough. >> out of the vehicle. >> we'll tell you exactly what happened behind this big fight. that's straight ahead. [ knock on door ] cool. you found it. wow. nice place. yeah. [ chuckles ] the family thinks i'm out shipping these. smooth move. you used priority mail flat rate boxes. if it fits, it ships for a low, flat rate. paid for postage online and arranged a free pickup. and i'm gonna track them online, too. nice. between those boxes and this place, i'm totally staying sane this year. do i smell snickerdoodles? maybe.
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welcome back, everybody. there are questions this morning about the chain of events that led cia director david petraeus to resign. it all began when a woman told the fbi that she'd been receiving harassing e-mails, accusing her of flirtatious behavior with the general. that trail led investigators to
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paula broadwell, a woman who wrote a biography of petraeus which was released earlier this year. he admitted cheating on his wife of 38 years and stepped down. let's get to retired general james "spider" marks, a cnn military analyst and knows both petraeus and broadwell well. thanks for being with us. >> hi, soledad. >> give me a sense, since you know them both personally, how this aftermath of the announcement essentially of the scandal is affecting both of them? >> well, i'm sure both of them are in a degree of incredible reflection, and hopefully they have their families around them and they can work their way through this. i mean at this point, it's nothing but a personal tragedy. the professional stuff we can get to later. they've got to be able to work their way through this. and so you really need a doctor phil intervention to find of make sure that everybody's okay and moving in the right direction. >> such a sad thing. i mean there are kids involved et cetera et cetera. >> of course. >> she had done paula broadwell a book tour and a lot of people
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watching her talk about that book, a book that she had written, a biography of petraeus, was really surprised about the incredible access that she got. here's a little bit of what she said about how she sort of got him to open up when she was on the daily show. >> to get to know him, he wanted to run with you. so you ran together. >> this is a typical mechanism he uses to get to know young people. he's done it throughout his life. so it was an opportunity for me to interview him on a run, and i think it was -- i was -- i thought i'd test him but he was going to test me. >> is there any indication that she had access that she should not have had? >> well, first of all, her ability to get into his inner circle was probably not surprising. clearly she's a very bright, i mean she worked, and she knows she's an incredibly, very talented, bright, creative immensely fit, and let's be frank, very attractive young
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lady. yet a wonderful officer. i mean the point is that she's a quintessential professional. so her ability to get inside david petraeus' inner circle is not surprising at all, and, in fact, he wants to test those around him and this is an ability to test those, let's go on a seven-mile run and she probably kicked his butt. it was probably the first time that ever happened to him so he let his guard down. he brought her in. and i think those around him who knew him best were kind of amazed at her ability to immediately get inside that close proximity. >> it was all discovered, we know, because of e-mails that broadwell apparently sent to a woman that cnn is not naming at this time. does that surprise you? i mean, to me there's an element of strange behavior in that. and you know her personally. >> completely strange behavior. i'm not a psychoanalyst, but she obviously was smitten by the guy. many have described elements of the book as kind of a valentine to david petraeus. it's extremely disappointing on all those personal levels.
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on the professional level i need to tell you there's a very, very little -- there's absolutely almost zero percent chance that national security was compromised or was at risk. know clearly based on an initial investigation i think there might have been some classified documents that were found on her laptop. that might be more procedural than it is a large risk. that needs to be looked into and that needs to be put aside so you can end that discussion. and frankly you can let david petraeus and paula broadwell get on with their lives because the cia, frankly, is going to be okay. >> with all due respect, i don't know how to frame this the right way but i'm going to assume he's not the first person in that position to have cheated on a spouse. why is this such a big deal, do you think? i mean is it because the potential military secrets being leaked? what is it? >> no, not at all. soledad, not at all. i mean here's a guy who's been married to his -- to his wife for 3 years. my dad worked for her dad. this is very, very close. and i'm sure at the end of the day he turned around and he
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went, what have i just done? i leave the service. i have this affair. what's going wrong? and many would say he lost his foundation. once you leave the service, four-plus decades of this infrastructure, and this, kind of this organization where you love them and they love you and you love them more than they really love you back. that's the thing about the military. you leave today and you're gone. you're gone. and he didn't -- he didn't make that transition as well as he probably thought he should have. he shows a moment of weakness, and then, frankly, he's about to get caught. and that's when he suddenly found his religion. >> hmm. general james "spider" marks joining us this morning. thank you, sir. we certainly appreciate it. nice to see you. >> sure. >> still ahead this morning on "starting point" when veterans return home they often face an uphill battle trying to return to civilian life but there's a method of meditation that could help them. we're dealing with post traumatic stress. russell simmons is our guest up next. ♪
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today, a proud nation expresses our gratitude. but we do so, mindful that no ceremony for parade, no hug or handshake, is enough to truly honor that service. >> welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point." today we observe veterans day. you heard president obama thanking veterans during a speech at arlington national cemetery. the sacrifice doesn't end when the troops leave conflict. for many injuries, physical and mental injuries can haunt them when we return home. our team this morning russell simmons the author of "superrich" also the founder of global grind and the president of argyle culture.
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that sounds like something somebody should be shipping to me. chrystia freeland is with us. will cain, columnist for theblaze.com. alina cho sticks around. often we spent veterans day remembering veterans and the other 364 days a year forgetting about veterans. you know especially when you think of all the issues that many come back with, ptsd, many veterans are homeless, and have all kinds of challenges to deal with. you, you've been focusing on meditation. i know we'll talk more about it later. why veterans, though? >> well, because, first everyone should have time to let the noise settle. but meditating is a great way to fight off stress. and people who have been through kind of experiences that some of our veterans have need it. and it's a dramatic shift for many in their consciousness, in their ability to deal with coming back to the world. you know, so it's something that we've given, and found great results from, and i'm on the
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board, by the way, the david lynch foundation. we raise funds and then do these programs for veterans. >> i started meditating because of russell. i read his book and he talks a lot about transcendental medication and he names a guy, bob ross, who taught him how to meditate and i said i need your guy and bob taught me how to meditate, too. >> i am a constant meditation. i'd like to share my meditations with everyone. >> oh, i see. >> two hours upcoming right now. >> meditation is that's the goal, actually. why we meditate so we move in prayer. >> don't tell will cain he's right. still ahead this morning on "starting point," if washington does not reach a compromise on that fiscal cliff we've been talking about, your tax dollars could go up in just about 50 days. some republicans say a deal may not be far off. we'll speak with grover norquist the president of americans for tax reform. he is not so much about compromise on the tax front. we'll ask him what he thinks.
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good morning. welcome, everybody, you're watching "starting point." we begin with alino cho who has a look at the day's top stories. >> good morning, everybody. first came hurricane sandy, then the nor'easter, two weeks after it all started. some people in the far rockaway section of queens still do not have electricity. many there out of food, supplies, medication. they are desperate for help. our victor blackwell is live in far rockaway with the latest. victor, good morning. >> good morning, alina. tens of thousands of people still without power. the latest number from lipa about 95,000 across three counties. and in this community, although the sun is up now, some people
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got light before sunrise. power was restored about three hours ago to some people in this neighborhood. on one side of the street the lights are on. on the other side, they're still in the dark. now we can show you that there are signs. even when the sun's up, that this community was hit hard. sand from the beach still a block or more in to the community. even inside this woman's apartment. her name is dee arrington. and she says the beach was in her living room. water and sand. she tells us about the night that she heard that wave. she heard the sound. listen. >> something told me to go out and look outside. when i went to look outside, i saw this wave coming down the street and the way i heard that wave and that wind screaming, i said oh, no. i'm in trouble. i went back inside the house and got my son, because he was
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asleep on the couch i said we got to go. >> now she says she's waded through water up to four feet in this community. we've actually seen video from her neighbors of really high water in this community. went to the train station nearby, where she said she and her 21-year-old son slept for the night until about 4:00 a.m. till the water receded and she returned. now, she says she's very fortunate, although most of the belongings in her apartment have been ruined, she's fortunate because she and her family are still alive. that cannot be said for a 77-year-old man who was added to the list of the dead. he lived here in this community. he died from injuries at a hospital when he fell down the stairs. alina? >> let's hope that community gets the help that they so badly need. i know the governor's going to be asking for federal help. victor blackwell, thank you very much. partial recount in the hotly contested race for florida's district 18 congressional seat narrows the gap between republican congressman alan west and democrat patrick murphy slightly. but it's not enough to trigger
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an automatic recount. democrat murphy is still ahead by a margin of more than a half percent. west's campaign manager is vowing to take legal action. >> like what? what legal action can he take? if it doesn't trigger a recount you don't have to count it, right? >> maybe it's so law -- >> isn't there a law that 0.5% is enough? >> exactly. no recount unless it drops below that. interesting. we've also got some big news coming out of syria. opposition groups have formally agreed to unite. they're now the syrian national coalition for opposition and revolutionary forces. the move allows for more international diplomatic recognition. more funding. and better military aid. now the group's stated goal is to crack down on president bashar al assad's government, and only accept a new government. listen to this, democratic senator chuck schumer says he and republican lindsey graham will restart immigration reform talks that crumbled two years ago, and schumer believes they could get a deal done, and soon.
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>> graham and i are talking to our colleagues about this right now and i think we have a darn good chance using this blueprint to get something done this year. the republican party has learned that being anti-illegal -- anti-immigrant doesn't work for them politically and they know it. >> key provisions of the plan include a path to citizenship for those already in the u.s., and stronger border security. did you catch this video? some payback on the track led to an all-out drawl during sunday's nascar race in phoenix. jeff gordon he's number 24, he intentionally took out number 15, clint bowyer, in response to an earlier bumping incident. or so that's what they call it. when gordon got back to the garage area, bowyer's crew went back. bowyer then tried to confront gordon later. but crew members managed to keep the two drivers apart. that helped a little later on. but not during that moment.
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we're talking about jeff gordon, right? >> nice guy. >> he's such a sweet guy. >> exactly. >> we have to teach him how to meditate. clearly you need to calm him. take it down a notch. >> that's right. >> all right, thanks alina. there are just 50 days until the u.s. faces that fiscal cliff. president obama has invited leaders from the house and the senate to the white house on friday to talk about some solutions. some of last year's dead ends still fresh in everybody's minds. the gang of eight, senate negotiators are going to meet sometime this week as well. republicans say maybe a deal isn't so far off listen. >> i think there is a deal. the yin and yang of this is we know there has to be revenues. and i think look i haven't met a wealthy republican or democrat in tennessee that's not willing to contribute more as long as they know we solved the problem. so the ying of revenue we understand. i thinkth a very good pro-growth way of putting that in place so you're actually getting revenues from people like me and other
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folks that make above "x" dollars. what you have to have tied to that is true entitlement reform. >> grover norquist is the president of americans for tax reform. he's also the author of debacle, obama's war on jobs and growth and what we can do now to regain our future. nice to see you, grover, as always. just heard from senator corker in that introduction. he talks about the yin and the yang. what do you make of what he's saying? sounds like he's up for a compromise. >> well, let's keep in mind, we did have a budget deal with the budget control act just in 2011. which the left called the failure because it didn't raise taxes. but it did actually reduce spending 2.5 trillion dollars over the next decade. that was a very successful negotiation. it was a compromise. the republicans voted for the ryan plan, which would have reduced obama's spending by $6 trillion. so they only cut it $2.5 trillion. there's a compromise to be made. maybe we don't get as much in spending restraint as the republicans want.
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but raising taxes on, you know, a little bit doesn't solve the problem of the massive spending problem that we have. doesn't -- >> so we -- >> doesn't get spending down. it just raises taxes. >> okay. so then you almost sound like you're in a compromising -- that's wrong, let me put it but you're in a position interested in compromise is what i'm trying to say. you have the folks sign these taxpayer protection pledges and we talked about this before on the show. and you say this, for the senate, one for the house. one i will oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses and two oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. so you sign people to what is a fairly stringent pledge. i think you have 238 folks in the house, something like 41 in the senate right now, 112th congress, that's the congress that would be working on this. do you worry by for the folks who've signed this pledge you've now bound their hands to any
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kind of negotiation? >> as you know, let's be clear for viewers, the pledge is to the american people, and to the people of their state. we share the pledge with everybody in americans for tax reform. the pledge isn't to me, even though vice president biden says that from time to time. it's a pledge to the american people and a commitment when you come to washington, we have a spending problem, you solve it by spending less. can we get more revenue? absolutely, if we grew at 4% a year, sort of reagan rates instead of 2% a year, what obama's brought us to, the french average over the last 20 years, if we grew at 4% instead of 2% just for a decade that would raise $5 2r8. >> here's my question, i get it, do you when you have people in the house and the senate who've been elected by the american people and you sort of automatically say i will not raise taxes, it's off the table, that's -- people might say that's a difficult negotiating starting point. right? it's already taken something off the table. don't you tie their hands in
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some way? if you have an honest conversation about compromise. >> first of all, the congressman and senators have made that commitment themselves. i haven't made any commitment on their behalf. they made that commitment when they ran for office as corker did when he ran for office to the people of his state. and you can keep that commitment by focusing on the problem. the problem is too much spending. the problem is not that the peasants aren't sending enough money into washington. we need to reduce the total spending. and we do need more revenue. we need 10 million more americans at work. that would bring in revenue. but what obama's nonnegotiable is is a higher tax increase on the half of small business earners. half of all the earnings of small business guys are susceptible to the higher tax rate he wants. he talks about his attacks on rich people. it's a body blow to small business -- >> let me stop you there. i want to ask will a question. he says half of all the small business earnings. i thought that the number of
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small businesses we're really talking about are something like 97% fall outside of what would be tackled, right? if you're talking about 250,000 as your upper rate to tax, 97, maybe 96.5% -- in deeping -- >> -- earnings. >> so that top level -- >> got it. >> are making a lot of money. >> the top thing that rang a bell in my head is the peasants. there's a circle of protection that some poverty groups informed me to protect underserved communities and the middle class. and i think we have to respect that and look at it closely and understand that there's so many groups that cannot afford to pay. i pay taxes. i'm a business guy. i run many businesses. i pay taxes based on pretax profit. so half of what they're talking about when they say destroying small businesses, is a myth. and secondly, this whole idea of growing the economy by $250,000
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versus $1 million. we're talking about $2 billion. it's a huge number that we can get. if we're only going to tax people over $1 million. because we're going to tax people. that pledge is going to go out the window. >> well we'll see about that. i'm not sure. >> i wonder if i could ask grover a hypothetical scenario which i don't think is that hypothetical that two months from now we're in a situation where we have a choice between going over the fiscal cliff, or raising some form of tax revenues. if the congressmen are forced into that situation, it's not going to be coming primarily from spending and we can't make it up, you know, economic growth claims what would you recommend to the congressmen, what choice should they choose? >> over the cliff or forget the pledge? >> well, remember, we were in exactly this position two years ago. some of the guys at the white house are bringing out the smelling salts as if we're going to faint because this has never happened before. we're in exactly the same position we were two years ago. and the president, obama, said the economy's doing so poorly we
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can't raise taxes now. the economy is doing as poorly now as it was two years ago, and to raise taxes now would hurt the entire economy, and last -- two years ago they extended all of the tax cuts for two years. they should consider doing exactly the same thing, and focus on the problem they created, which is too much spending. we need lower tax rates, not higher tax rates. and we need economic growth, not too much spending. and even -- >> is that a yes go over the cliff or is that a no don't go over the cliff, don't worry, rip up the pledge? >> no. extend -- exactly what obama and the democrats in the house and senate did two years ago, extend all the tax rates two years. does obama want to put 40 million americans in the crosshairs of the alternative minimum tax? that's his present plan. 40 million americans are going to get hit by the amt if we go over the cliff he's created. we could -- if we wanted during his presidency to extend the tax
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lower tax rates for middle income people and low-income people he could have done that. he spent two years, all of 2009, all of 2010, woke up every morning, all day he didn't extend the tax rate for middle-income people and low-income people or anybody, then he went to bed at night, did that for 700 days in a row. why would we believe he doesn't extend intend to take those tax higher tax rates to all americans, not just the rich, remember what he said during the campaign in 2008. i'll never raise taxes on anyone who makes less than $250,000 a year. 2012 he changed that promise. that promise starting august 8th, grand junction, colorado, and repeated many times since, i won't raise income taxes next year on people who make less than $250,000 a year. there's nobody out there who is now protected by obama's promise once we get past 2013. that's why they're going to
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raise energy taxes if he gets his way. >> grover norquist i know you say this form isn't yours. americans for tax reform and then you mail it back to americans for tax reform so to a large degree it is a pledge to you. we're out of time -- >> no, no, read the first sentence. >> i gotcha. believe me i hear you. i sleep with this at night. grover, appreciate your time. still ahead this morning on "starting point." saturday night live says good-bye to mitt romney with a look at the wild antics of his election night. that's up next. then an unprecedented look at the man known as a boss. also behind a brand-new bruce springsteen bio which we'll talk about. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage.
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guaranteed or your money back. olay pro-x. guaranteed or your money back. trying to find a better job can be frustrating. so at university of phoenix we're working with a growing list of almost two thousand corporate partners - companies like microsoft, american red cross and adobe - to create options for you. not only that, we're using what we learn from these partners to shape our curriculum. so that when you find the job you want you'll be a perfect fit. let's get to work.
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♪ i think everybody imagines themselves in the background singing for bruce springsteen. that's born to run. while the boss has been known to many folks for the past four decades his personal life has not been very public until now. a new biography out called "bruce." and the author peter ames carlin got unprecedented access. >> it's great to be here. >> were you pitching him to get part of this first or did you start writing the biography and hope he would come to tell the story to you? >> a little bit of both. i pitched him right out of the gate. i'm here, that's what i want to do. they said that's great, have fun, but not with us. but i was, you know, i expected that. so i figured i'm just going to go ahead and do this work myself. i spent a year and a half just
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doing light work, you know, walking around, in asbury park, and calling people and billing that network of sources. and you know, after 18 months of that 18 months of that i got a call from bruce's manager. he said they felt like they were ready to cooperate. >> did you just completely freak out? like the boss is going to talk to you about a biography you spent the last year and a half writing? >> bruce wasn't going to come at first. even the first nine, ten months i was talking to john and talking to everybody in their inner circle. there was af and but then eventually that broke down. that original phone call, it was a kind of freak out. but it wasn't -- i tend to disassociate myself from moments like that. i feel like, well, this is really going to be good. >> you talk about that moment that soledad asked you freaked out, you said i wasn't sure bruce was going to come hang out. how does that manifest? you sit down at a bar one day and you have an hour to interview bruce?
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sit throughout the process of the book? how was his participation? >> we started out at the bar for an hour. that went well. he said i'll pick you up at your hotel and we'll talk for a while. that turned into a six hour day. >> what did you learn? what are some of the things that surprised you? i'm sure so many people i know, regardless of their interest in music, they all love the boss. everybody loves bruce springsteen? what did you as a fan of the boss learn about him you didn't know? >> i tell you what, the night before he and i actually first sat down i spent about five hours with his mother and his sister, the older of his two sisters. they filled me with so many juicy tales and stories. one of the great sort of affirming moments for me talking to him was asking him a question and going into some detail about what i knew and have him just sort of stare back at me and say, who's telling you these tales, man? i said, your mother. he's like, my mother! i guess she's talking. boom. he went on. >> you're clearly a fan.
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this is an icon loved around the world. so how do you balance that love for bruce with the need to be an objective journalist? >> especially talking about the band, when the band broke up. how do you both love bruce and some of the things that happened with that band that are pretty ugly. >> people are people. relationships are complicated. especially when you start working together as teenagers and you've conquered the world together over 15, 20 years. a lot of stuff happens. relationships get a little bit tangled. that part didn't surprise me. the separation of my inner fan boy and my biographer, only one of those guys is -- is -- has a job. and so doing that job became -- was my primary obsession. the other guy ended up in a cage. >> he was an icon to you, an 8 on a scale of 10 before you met him. what was he after you met him? >> good question. i tell you what. there's the bruce that would -- that i admire, whose work i
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really love, that feels really important to me. and that guy -- i knew that guy's status wasn't really going to be affected. no matter what i learned about the guy. it's the art and the artist. the artist himself or bruce as a man, as a person, i was actually -- i mean, i didn't know him before. now i know him and quite honestly he was a very nice guy. >> the book is called "bruce." nice to have you with us this morning. got to take a break. back in just a moment. adcast the world's biggest events in 3d, or live to your seat high above the atlantic ocean. it's what drives us to create eco-friendly race tracks, batteries that power tomorrow's cars, nearly indestructible laptops, and the sustainable smart towns of the future. at panasonic, we're driven to make what matters most better. just another way we're engineering a better world for you.
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ahead on "starting point" this morning the abrupt resignation of the cia director, david petraeus. some lawmakers wondering why they weren't told sooner. was national security put at
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risk? we'll talk to a general who's known petraeus for 25 years and calls him the finest officer of his generation. from the new movie "lincoln" actress gloria reuben joins us. "starting point" is back in just "starting point" is back in just a moment. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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morning. welcome, everybody. god bless you, alee thinalina. a growing bomb shell scandal to talk about. was national security ever at risk over the affair? who replaces him now? we'll take a look at that. plus, as we get close tor t this fiscal cliff in 50 days, new signs of compromise. she's one of the stars of the new movie "lincoln." gloria reuben joins us live.
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it's monday, november 12th. "starting point" begins right now. morning, welcome, everybody. our team this morning, russell simmons. author of "super rich." fabulous book, by the way. love that book. founder of global grind. he's the president of argyle culture joining us this morning. we'll talk about transdental medication. chrystia freeland. will cain. alina cho. starting off, the sex scandal involving david petraeus. key members of the house and senate say they knew nothing about the cia director's resignation until it was done. they say that's unacceptable. lawmakers are demanding answers about the fbi investigation that began months ago, over the summer, then uncovered that extramarital affair. the timing of it all could now keep general petraeus from testifying at a congressional hearing this week on the u.s. consulate attack in benghazi, libya. cnn's barbara starr starts us off. she's at the pentagon this
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morning. barbara, what are the biggest issues out of this scandal that we now know has exploded? >> right, soledad. first on capitol hill, the intelligence committees on the house and senate both contend, and quite accurately, that they are supposed to be informed of any crucial event regarding intelligence or national security. they did not know about petraeus. they're calling it a bolt out of the blue. why weren't they informed? that's what they want to know. the hearings that petraeus was supposed to attend this week on the benghazi attacks, now it will be his deputy. will congress subpoena him to get him to come up there and tell what he knows about benghazi and whether he had intelligence that it was, indeed, a terrorist attack early on? and, most critically, perhaps, why wasn't president obama informed about this? by all accounts he did not know until the thursday after the election. there's no indication of a national security breach at this point. but you have to wonder, would
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somebody not tell the president that his cia director is at least in part, part of an fbi investigation into e-mails? soledad? >> one would think there are a lot of people who did not know. a couple minutes from now, barbara, we'll talk to brigadier general mark kimmitt. we'll ask barbara starr to stick around for that as well. fiscal cliff, 50 days and counting. this morning signs of a deal could be in the work. president obama wants the bush tax cuts expire for americans make ing morethan $250,000 a year. says he's not wedded to everidy tail of the plan. house speaker john boehner wants to keep all the bush tax cuts in place. he's talking about closing tax loopholes. could that be a deal? could they pull it off? cnn's congressional correspondent dana bash in washington, d.c., this morning. >> reporter: there certainly has been a much more conciliatory tone on both sides of the aisle since election day. it is post election year
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posturing. both sides of the aisle pretty much admit that. no one at the end of the day wants to look like they're the one who's going to stand in the way of a deal that could cause this nation to go over the fiscal cliff. when it comes to this issue, the deepest divide, of course, is over what you were just talking about, soledad. it is over the whole idea of taxes. i want you to listen to what bill crystal, the respected republican commentator, said yesterday. >> the leadership in the conservative movement has to pull back, let people float new ideas, let people have a serious debate. don't scream and yell at what one person says. i don't really understand why republicans don't take obama's offer to raise taxes for everyone below 250,000. re >> bill kristol is not an elected official. he doesn't get a vote. he is a voice that republicans have listened to in the past. and by him saying that it
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wouldn't kill them to agree to tax increases for millionaires is a big deal. you could sort of feel the aftereffects here in washington after he said that yesterday. it's cliche but it is true. the devil is in the details. the president campaigned on something very specific, letting the bush era tax rates for families making $250,000 and more expire. and go up. republicans say that would hurt small businesses. but may be okay with closing those loopholes to raise revenues other ways. so the question really, soledad, at this point going into this week, especially when congress comes back, is where is the alternative? what can they come up with so that both sides can save face and avert falling off that fiscal cliff. >> really the conciliatory tone has to turn into what the actual compromise looks like. thank you, dana. alina has a look at other stories making news. >> good morning. we begin with a devastating blast that seemingly came out of nowhere. a normally quiet indianapolis neighborhood now looks like a war zone. a massive explosion this weekend leveled homes and killed two people.
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the blast rendered whole blocks uninhabitable, and it could be heard three miles away. it caused an estimated $3.5 million in damage. but just what caused the explosion is still a mystery. a salute to america's veterans. president obama leading the veterans day observance by laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns at arlington national cemetery. he said the country will never forget the sacrifice made by service members and their families. >> today, a proud nation expresses our gratitude. but we do so mindful that no ceremony or parade, no hug or handshake is enough to truly honor that service. >> the president also said this is the first veterans day in ten years with no american troops fighting in iraq. homeland security chief janet napolitano gets a firsthand look at sandy's aftermath. she surveyed the devastation
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yesterday in staten island. she also took stock of relief and recovery efforts there. sandy is blamed for at least 113 deaths across various states, including 43 in new york alone. thousands of people are still without power. we will have a live report from one of the hardest hit areas just ahead. the greek parliament approved an austerity budget for 2013 which allows greece to receive the next installment of a crucial economic bailout, a payment worth more than $40 billion. the prime minister says the severe spending cuts included in 2013 budget will be the last the greek people will have to face. in case you missed it, the folks at "snl" got the first crack at the 2012 election results this weekend. they used the chance to show mitt romney drowning his sorrows by hitting the carpet. >> i still love you, america. i do. but you've hurt my feelings very, very much.
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>> father! hello, father. >> hello, tag. >> i'm so very angry, father. i wish i could punch america in the face, i do, i tell you! >> now, now. listen. this is not a time for anger, tag. >> what's next for you, father? >> oh, i don't know. there's so much i want to see and do. i'd like to learn how mayonnaise is made. as i like mayonnaise very, very much. >> that's great. jason sudeikis not going to play mitt romney anywhere. he still has joe biden. >> that's a career loss for him. >> he still plays biden. there's been a lot of talk he's going to leave the show anyway. we'll have to see. >> that could make your career if the guy you're playing wins. >> tina fey survived sarah palin not winning. >> this will all work out for him.
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back to starting point, the shocking resignation of the cia director david petraeus. retired brigadier general mark kimmitt. he's known davis petraeus for more than 25 years. and pentagon correspondent barbara starr is also around with us. general, thank you for talking with us. certainly appreciate it. why don't you start for me with the impact. not just the resignation which has a huge impact. but the impact the affair has on those who report to the general. i have to imagine that, you know, number one, questions about his judgment would have to be in the forefront, right? >> well, i think the real impact is the thousands and thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marine who admire general petraeus, still have many reasons to admire general petraeus but in some ways have been let down a bit by this affair. >> you've known him for 25 years. are you let down by the affair? are you shocked by it? >> look, this is an exceptional general. probably the best of his generation. unfortunately i think in this incident he proved that no
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matter how exceptional, he is a human being. >> barbara, question for you. big questions now as we spoke just a moment ago is the timeline issue. lawmakers especially are very concerned that they were left out of the loop. is this just specious complaining or do you think that there's actual problems in not informing members of congress about what was happening in this investigation? >> you know, congress is supposed to be notified when something like this happens involving a major element of the intelligence community. so it gets back to everybody's judgment in this issue. where was the fbi? i want to go back to something you were talking about, soledad. petraeus, once and always the four star general. he didn't resign, i don't think, necessarily because of this personal event. it's his lack of judgment. once the president of the united states cannot trust your judgment, you really have no choice but to resign.
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whether he wanted to or not. >> back to you, general kimmitt. what happens with this benghazi testimony? i would have thought that his voice would be critical in this. i honestly cannot imagine that they're not going to have him testify. what do you think? >> the congress of the united states has subpoena authority. they want to get general petraeus up there, perhaps not in his capacity as a cia director but as a former cia director, it's certainly within their purview. whether that makes sense to do so in light of his knowledge and how consequential that is to the overall benghazi investigation, that's up to the u.s. congress. they certainly have the power to do it. >> what do you think he does next? where does his career go from here? obviously majorly decorated in the military, then to the cia then scandal. what happens? >> my view is, we would be less of a country if we weren't forgiving enough that after a period of reflection and a period of redemption that we don't take advantage of this extraordinarily talented human being. he served this country for over
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40 years. i believe that he's still got a lot more to offer this country. and i look forward to seeing that happen one day. >> brigadier general mark kimmitt with us this morning and barbara starr as well from the pentagon. thanks to both of you. i appreciate your time this morning. we've got to take a short break. still ahead on "starting point" as we mark veterans day we're going to remember the wounded warriors often still recovering or try and recover from war. russell simmons leading the efforts to help our servicemen and women with a type of meditation. he's going to explain that coming up next. if you love black friday deals this will make you even happier. it's now brown thursday. i just made that up. we'll tell you what that's about. one.
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today we observe veterans tay, the day to honor the more than 22 million troops who served in our military. often sacrifice doesn't end when troops come home. often injuries are physical and mental and haunt them when they try to return to daily life.
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warrior wellness is a project that brings transindental medication to veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress. we've been talking to russell all morning. bob, we'll start with you. when did you connect the idea that transindental meditation can work for veterans. >> i've been teaching it for 40 years. i've been teaching it 20, 30 years ago to vietnam vets and world war ii vets. it's just been in the past years where the understanding that post-traumatic stress disorder is a real epidemic that has no conventional, traditional solution. so you combine that with the fact that there's now 30 years of research on transendental meditation. we got approached by a lot of military people and veterans organizations saying, hey, can you offer tm to the vets. >> a quick question, bob.
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meditation has played a role in my life only on the peripheral. i kind of know what it is. you keep referring to transindental meditation. can you tell me what that is different from my conception of medication? >> meditation is a generic word. transindental meditation is a simple, easily learned mental technique practiced for 20 minutes, twice a day, comfortably in the share with eyes closed. russell and i can both do it. >> bob taught me after i read russell's book. >> it's an ideal meditation for people who have very busy lives. thinking, thinking, thinking. >> everyone benefits from meditation. >> were there soldiers, though, who felt like, oh, this is touchy-feely, i may not want to do this. i'm a soldier, i'm a fighter, there's some sort of cultural issue? >> i'm sure there are lots of people. we have schools all over the country where we teach young people to meditate. there's some people who think that meditation has something to do with religion. this idea of letting your mind
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settle is in every religion. it's also in every spiritual teaching. also everyone needs to look inside for reflection in order to work outside. and operating from a calm space has got to be the greatest gift anyone can be given to teach people how to look inside and to then give from the inside out. i mean, all your happiness sits inside. every creative idea you have comes from a moment of presence. >> bob, what do the veterans get out of it? what difference have you seen anecdotally from veterans practicing tm. >> it's interesting. it's a generational thing. the young kids coming, 20s, 30s, the idea of meditation is fine. they go to yoga class. they hear about meditation. they just want to be able to do it. they can do transindental meditation. the research findings, this is the reason why now the b.a. is funding research on transindental medication and we're working with wounded warrior project and many, many military bases, is that they found about a 50% reduction in
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the symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. the research shows a reduction in heart disease which is a by-product of ptsd. anxiety. all these sleep disorders. >> it doesn't replace other psychological treatment. >> no. adjunct therapy. we use it as an adjunct therapy, medically sound, scientifically tested. it's being used at norwitch university. the oldest private military college in the country. there the president richard schneider sees this as the missing element in promoting resilience. >> what a great gift for veterans day. if you give someone peace of mind and calmness in dealing with some of the terrible things. >> you don't have to give a kid ritalyn. you don't need a.d.d., for instance. it does cure that. there are many medical procedures -- medical processes or gifts that are not needed. >> do you need a certain level of kind of calmness and health to even start?
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>> i'm a meditator for 20 years. >> wounded veterans. if you're totally in trouble, how can you get it together to meditate? >> you have literally once said -- i will tell you this. you and you should get bob's number. >> we'll sit here quietly. >> actually, bob, maybe you could pen for us -- maybe you'll pen for cnn.com. we'd love to put it on our website. that would answer everybody's questions. i know there's a lot of history to that. >> nice to be on the show. >> nice to have you with us this morning. appreciate it. reminds me i haven't meditated in a really long time. turning to superstorm sandy, there are signs of recovery in the aftermath of that and last week's nor'easter as well that followed. struggle, though, isn't over for lots of people. we're going to take you to one of the hardest hit areas. that's coming up next. ♪
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welcome back to "starting point." i'm alison kosik in for christine romans. minding your business. u.s. stock futures are up indicates markets will open higher this morning. but there's a lot of volatility in the markets now mostly because of the fiscal cliff. the s&p 500 the best indicator for the stocks in your 401(k), it's fallen about 2.5% since election day. this week we're going to be getting several reports on the manufacturing sector. those are hopefully going to give us a pretty good update on the health of the economy, drawing attention maybe away from the gridlock in washington over the fiscal cliff. the u.s. is expected to be the world's biggest oil producer by around 2020, kicking saudi arabia out of the top spot. that's according to a new report this morning from the international energy agency. the rise is because of a recent resurgence in oil and gas production and the fact that cars and trucks are more fuel efficient. plus the u.s. is expected to be a net oil exporter by around
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2030. yes, add one more to the list. toys r us is opening early thanksgiving night. thursday, i'm talking about, 8:00 p.m. eastern. that's an hour earlier than last year. target and walmart, they're going to open earlier on thanksgiving night as well. so you can get your turkey, you can eat that and then go work it off in the evening. >> i guess you get a sitter for the kids and then you run out -- >> take them with. make it a family affair. >> what about the poor people who have to work there. >> listen, as someone who has worked every single holiday, they can get over it. >> i hate to say it, what about the turkey? >> i know you're a vegan. >> i think all the animals, the worst disaster in the history of the world. the abuse. i know it's not my segment. >> that's okay. >> i wanted to share that. >> good luck about changing that tradition. >> the greatest cause of global warming, greater than all the trains, planes and automobiles times two. >> the processing of animal? >> the waste of oil, the waste of grain, the waste of water. just makes you sick.
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do i look sick? i'm 100. >> you look -- i thought -- >> i don't eat animal products, and i feel fine. >> thank you for that. we're going to turn and talk about what's happening for folks in farrockaway. they have no food, in some cases no supplies. no medication. it's already been two weeks of post-hurricane sandy. there are people still desperate for help. tens of thousands of people don't have electricity still in the new york area. some of them in the far rockaway section of queens, you know, it's getting very cold here and dangerous. victor blackwell is in the far rockaway section of queens for us this morning with the very latest. how many folks, victor, are we talking about who are still grappling with really no change since sandy? >> reporter: the latest number we have from lipa is that about 37,000 here just on the rockaway peninsula still have no power. a lot of people who live at the ocean village community just a few hundred yards from me may be up on the 11th floor have been suffering through this with no heat, no electricity.
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they say now they have cold running water and gas so that they can heat water on the stove and then create some -- some heat that way for their home. i want to take you, though, to this home right here. this is where d. arrington lives with her 17-year-old daughter. she got her power back just at about, let's say, 3:45 eastern this morning. he says that the nights without it were almost unbearable. listen. >> i told her, we're going to be all right. you know, god is with us. you know, we're going to have help soon. and i trust in our government, you know. we're going to have help soon. and everything's going to be all right. >> was there a moment that you didn't believe that, you were just telling her that? >> i wouldn't tell her that. yeah, i did. i did. i didn't know how to -- how i was going to make it. i'm a single parent. i didn't know how i was going to make that. >> reporter: and those nights when she was there with her daughter, she said they'd wear
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five pairs of socks and a jacket and a coat and blankets on top of them. but this morning they have their power back. cannot be said for the people who live in the building across the street. the hallways are dark. it smell like garbage, they tell me. they say there are seniors and people with children there who cannot get out and no help is coming in. they're still waiting for some help and some support. soledad? >> where's fema for those folks, right? these are people should be helped out. victor, thanks for your update on that. keep wachg it for us. still ahead on "starting point" this morning, change or cease to exist? imagine texas becoming a blue state. will cain, imagine texas becoming a blue state. it is a doomsday scenario for will and other republicans. this morning we talk to ryan lizza about why texas could be the front line of change for the gop. also the new movie "lincoln" getting all kinds of buzz already, oscar buzz. actress gloria reuben is going to join us to talk about her role jb straight ahead. i'm a conservative investor.
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point. "alina starts us off with the day's top stories. >> we start with a story you've been watching very closely. partial recount in the hotly contested race for florida's district 18 congressional seat narrows the gap between allen west and patrick murphy slightly. but it's not enough to trigger an automatic recount. democrat murphy still ahead by a margin of more than a half percent. west's campaign manager is vowing to take legal action. president obama called it the biggest failure of his first term. now republican senator lindsay graham says he and democrat chuck schumer are ready to restart talks on immigration reform. schumer even says a deal could be done before the end of the year. graham tells cbs that republicans learned a lesson on election day. >> it's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot. just don't reload the gun. i intend not to reload this gun
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when it comes to hispanics. i intend to tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill that's an american solution to an american problem. but we have nobody to blame but ourselves when it comes to losing hispanics. and we can get them back with some effort on our part. >> got to hand it to lindsey graham. has a way with words. don't reload the gun. key provisions of the plan include a path to citizenship for those already in the united states and stronger border security. sunday night football action. the bears and texans in chicago. houston's arian foster had a big night. he rushed for 102 yards on 29 carries and scored the game's only touchdown. the texans' defense, two interceptions before knocking jay cutler out of the game with a concussion. final score, by the way, houston, 13, chicago, 6. will cain, how do you like that? >> that's not my team, alina. >> you're from texas. >> cowboys. >> anything texas. >> stereotyping you. >> shows you how much i know. that's judy -- that's right,
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russell simmons. that is judy garland's dress from the wizard of oz. it has a new home. someone paid $480,000 for that dress at auction. >> i have that dress, too. my daughters wore that for halloween. >> i bought her house. >> you bought her house? >> last week, yeah. the -- >> encase it in plastic. >> i have no interest in it. >> it doesn't matter. it's history. >> he needs it. >> make the call now. >> soledad, back to you. since president obama's re-election the republican party has been grappling with the issue of courting latino voters, a group that now makes up 10% of the american electorate and voted for the president by a resounding 71%. you heard lindsey graham just a moment ago. here's a look at more of what he said on "meet the press" yesterday. >> it's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot.
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just don't reload the gun. so i intend not to reload this gun when it comes to hispanics. i intend to tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill that's an american solution to an american problem. but we have nobody to blame but ourselves when it comes to losing hispanics, and we can get them back with some effort on our part. >> i think i said "meet the press." it's actually clearly "face the nation." our cnn contributor and washington correspondent for the new yorker ryan lizza has got a new piece out this morning talking about how the state of texas could actually serve as a front line in the republican party's battle to bring in more hispanic voters. nice to see you, ryan. sorry you're not here in person. he used an interesting choice of words, didn't he? tear this wall down which i thought was very reagan-esque. also talking about a wall. usually when we're hearing from republicans on a wall it's build that wall up. give me a sense of what's at risk here for the gop. >> man, the velocity at which some republican leaders in washington are moving at this -- on this issue is surprising.
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you know, i closed this piece on friday. already it just seems like a lot of republicans have come out, gotten the message that they can't go forward as a national party unless they make some headway among hispanics. almost every opinion maker in the beltway and numerous senators are saying that they've got to move back to the bush era policy on immigration reform. and if you want to understand why, the best place to go is texas. >> why texas? >> texas right now is a majority minority state. there are more nonwhite people than white people in texas. think about that. it's the only majority minority state in the country that we all just assume is a republican state. you know, i spent a week there before the election. the republicans in that state are absolutely seized with this issue and terrified that at the current rate, texas is going to be a blue state as soon as 2016.
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it's very rare to sit down with the chairman of a republican party as i did in texas, to sit there in a state where they control everything, every statewide office and the state house and the senate seats, he sits there and tells you it's all a mirage. this state is about to be democratic unless we make some headway with the hispanic vote. >> remember they were talking to kay bailey hutchison the other day. she talked about texas as well. i think you were taking notes for your piece while you were interviewing her. >> i was doing interviews on air. >> she was basically saying, listen, we need to be more in the -- sort of the image of george bush and less in the image of what's happening in arizona. but when we talked to mayor julian castro of san antonio, what he said it's not just about immigration. the texas thing is just about being positive on immigration, that's not going to work. it's about many other things. he said it's about substance as well. can you explain that dichotomy there? >> i think there are a few options available to the republicans. there are some republicans that just think, okay. all we need to do is run
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candidates with a hispanic surname and that will be enough. that's sort of the easy way out, right? this sort of republican identity politics. marco rubio or ted cruz, new senator from texas. or any number of hispanic leaders in the republican party run, that will be enough to attract hispanics. you don't actually have to change on the policy. another group of republicans says, no, that's not enough. voters aren't stupid. they don't care what the ethnic background of the candidate is, they care how they talk about their issues and they care about what they say about immigration. that faction says you've got to change the policy. then there's a discussion of how far do you change the policy? is it just comprehensive immigration reform? is that enough? a lot of democrats would say no. the republican party platform talks about birthright citizenship. that is changing the constitution so you could no longer become a citizen just if you're born in america. there are efforts, you know, bilingual education is a big issue. >> we have a texan on the panel
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today. let's turn to him. >> who's that? >> whenever we can they make them aware of it. >> he lives on the upper west side now. >> quiet with that. did you take any of my barbecue recommendations when you went to texas? >> i did hit, you know, ironworks in austin. >> there you go. franklin's is where you should have gone. you didn't answer soledad's question. this is interesting. is immigration the only poli that drives this electorate, ryan? >> yes. >> is the republican party versus the democratic party's position on immigration the only thing dictating where latinos vote, and if the answer is no as everyone is chiming in with my question -- >> it is a long question. >> sorry to cut you off. >> the reason immigration drives the hispanic vote is because that's the issue republicans used in the primaries. that's the issue they -- when they talk about it, they alienate hispanics the most. soledad, as you pointed out a couple times on this show, your
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mom who's cuban-american, when she hears certain republicans talking the way they do about hispanics -- >> she freaks out. >> she doesn't care about immigration. >> you're exactly right. >> we'he still got a lot of bla to become republican. >> i would pause at one thing. a lot of people felt there was not a lot of energy and engagement in this election cycle. people mistook that for not going out to vote. what happened was a tone. and where immigration really hits, latinos and tones about racism and racist comments, it will send people to the polls like crazy. even if they don't actually care that much about their candidate. i think people did the match badly on that. we saw that in some of the polling. you have ten seconds. >> that was romney's mistake. >> ryan, super quick question, ryan. so it's not an accident that in the past republicans have taken this hard line on immigration. i am struck by how quickly they've moved. but do they -- is there potentially a backlash inside the party? >> oh, there is going to be a
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major, major backlash. the voices that are prominent right now are the ones that have megaphones. wait until you hear from people in early primary states and more conservative folks, they're not giving up their position. >> arizona. >> this is going to be a major war. >> i completely agree with you. i think immigration is just part of it. there's a lot more in terms of substance everybody has. if they want to come to jesus on this, it's a pretty big one. thank you, ryan lizza. still ahead on "starting point" big developments in syria to talk about. big implications for the ongoing civil war there. a live report coming to you in just a moment. nded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future.
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welcome back, everybody.
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new out of syria this morning opposition groups are formally agreeing to unite. the move will allow for more international diplomatic recognition, more funding and better military aid. the group's stated goal is to crackdown on president bashar al assad's government and only accept a new government. interesting this has happened, right? part of the problem in funding these opposition groups is that they have not really been coalessed. they have not been together. it's a big problem. arwa damon has a report for us this morning. i think we've got her. arwa? >> reporter: yes, that's right. and what they're trying to accomplish right now is put together a body that all syrians are going to be able to feel is an accurate representation of themselves, but of the revolution itself. so far what they've been able to come towards has been something that is being viewed as a positive step. the president of this coalition, for example, he is, yes, a sunni imam. a former imam. he used to preach at one of the main mosques in damascus.
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but he's most certainly viewed as being a moderate muslim. very well loved by his followers. someone who preaches unity of all of the various sects that exist within syria. his two deputies, one of them a very prominent businessman, the other one a woman who herself is well known of being an advocate of women's rights. the big challenge right now is going to see how much influence they're able to exert over the syrian battlefield. and, of course, whether or not they will gain that much-needed international recognition. the u.s. amongst other western and gulf powers has long been complaining about the lack of a unified body to speak to, negotiate with when it comes to the syrian opposition. complaining that the syrian national council is too islamist, too dominated by the muslim brotherhood. so everyone very much viewing this as a positive first step. again, it's still remains a very first and initial step with a very tough and long road ahead. >> absolutely. arwa damon this morning, thank you, arwa. still ahead this morning, gloria reuben joins us.
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she's starring in a new movie, "lincoln." supposed to be fantastic. she's going to join us to talk about that straight ahead. stay with us. wanna see me get some great deals? it's a new way to get cash back deals, and it's called bankamerideals! i sign into my online banking...
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abolishing slavery settles the fate for millions now in bondage. and unborn millions to come. we must cure ourselves of slavery. this amendment is that cure! >> welcome back, everybody. that's a clip from the new steven spielberg movie "lincoln." it stars oscar winner daniel day-lewis. it opened in limited markets
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this weekend. one of the characters in the film is elizabeth heckly, former slave that was married to lincoln's dressmaker. gloria reuben is with us. so interesting there is so much known about this particular character. you researched her life before you played her. >> i did. very much so. there were a handful of books written about elizabeth's relationship with mary todd lincoln. yeah, she was her personal dressmaker, confidant and best friend. elizabeth in her own right is a very successful businesswoman and was running her business in washington, d.c. had opened up her dress making business before they met. so along with reading the handful of books that i could get on their relationship, i planned and took a road trip to document the areas where elizabeth heckley spent her first 25, 30 years of life. >> that made its way into this book. it's the book that goes along with the movie. >> yes, exactly.
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i wrote and they published -- incorporated in this book an essay that i've shared kind of some emotional par leallels i h with elizabeth heckley. >> tell me about elizabeth heckle yes. >> she was born into slavery. her biological father was her master. when she was 14 years old she was given as a wedding gift to the oldest legitimate son. she was raped as a young woman and gave birth to a son. over the years she really crafted the art of dress making and design. in her late 30s she bought her and her son's own freedom. she moved to washington, d.c. she opens up her store, her shop in washington. four months later meets mary todd lincoln. her son ends up enlisting in the
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war. he fights for the union. unfortunately he dies in his first battle. he fought in 1861. he could pass as white. her son passed as white. he went to fight for freedom. elizabeth tells the president a little bit about this when they have a scene together. >> how do you make your -- you've had such an interesting career. you starred in "e.r.." you've done a bunch of movies as well. you quit so you could go dance. >> actually, i didn't quit so i could go dance. that's a common misconception. i actually had asked to leave "e.r.." the role was fantastic. i always hold it close. it was very poignant. at that time a woman who was hiv positive, a heterosexual hiv positive woman. >> we all thought you left to go dance with tina turner. >> i knew i wanted to have more music in my life. i asked to leave the show. then i met tina. that's how -- i took the lead. >> how do you decide -- what rings a bell for you when you're
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looking at a script or looking at a choice of what to do next? >> i think this was kind of a -- a no-brainer. let's see. steven spielberg. daniel day-lewis. well, okay. >> did you -- what about the actual story? >> it's spectacular. it's based on, of course, elizabeth kenkle yes, it's based on the last four months of his administration. the story is a magnificent one. >> i'm going to ask you about working with daniel day-lewis. many co-stars never meet him. he goes into character months before the filming. was he -- >> this makes it sound like he's -- he's so human and generous and open. >> is he lincoln? >> i don't know his process. >> is he really that character or not? i've heard he stays in character as well. >> let me just say something. this is my first and god willing
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hoping not my last time working with him. all i know is for this particular project we were filming in richmond, virginia. needless to say what was the capital of the confederacy. we're doing this film on abraham lincoln 150 years after the civil war. you know, everybody -- it was just a natural thing. everybody was in a very respectful -- it was the most respectful, quiet set that i've ever been on. of course, helmed by steven. but there was just this feeling of we were doing something really sacred here. and everybody -- >> did you stay in character, too? >> i want to know if he wore a top hat off the set. >> oh, russell. >> that's a yes, russell. >> no, it's not. the thing is we had a lot of fun. there was a lot of fun. as i think that people will see when they see the film, there's unexpected -- >> it looks amazing. >> it's one of the most extraordinary things i've ever seen. i can't tell you, to be a part of it is like a dream come true. >> thank you for coming in talk
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to us about it. >> did he free the slaves for political or social reasons or did you inspire, your character inspire that shift? >> why did he free the slaves? >> yeah. >> obviously he wanted -- he wanted emancipation. he wanted to abolish slavery permanently. and he was a master politician. so he had to -- you know, he really fought with what do i do first? end the war so people stop dying or is the commitment to -- forever to abolish slavery. >> you'll have to read the book. i'm going to guess it's multifactorial on that. such a huge fan. great to have you join us. short break and we're back right after this. 1(k) into a fidelity ira. man: okay, no problem. it's easy to get started; i can help you with the paperwork. um...this green line just appeared on my floor. yeah, that's fidelity helping you reach your financial goals. could you hold on a second?
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